Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Rostov's dogs (Dog's of Literature No 5)

oil painting of borzoi from War & Peace
This is the last in my Dogs of Literature mini-series, at least for the time being, but it is a big one: Nicholas Rostov's borzoi from the famous hunting scene in Tolstoy's War & Peace.  Two of the borzoi are mentioned by name - Milka and Karay - and in this painting I am imagining they are the two at the front. Here is Tolstoy, setting the scene:
This extract is a screen shot from the Project Gutenberg e-Book edition of the text. In the novel, the borzoi (also known as Russian Wolfhounds) are hunting a wolf and *SPOILER ALERT* they actually succeed in bringing down their quarry. I was upset for two days after reading this.
In my painting, this does not happen. The wolf escapes successfully into the Otradnoe wood. Look closely. You can see the swish of her tail as she slips away.